Colours Of My Country

Katy Lee, 70
Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped | i’mable
Katy’s artwork depicts Singapore with apartment buildings and trees, and the island is split into three colours which represent her feelings about Singapore, showcasing her love for Singapore in spite of these extraordinary times. Perhaps, the simple but powerful use of colours illustrates how the visually impaired think through more abstract but equally evocative means.

Red represents life and vibrancy, because to her, “Singapore is a brilliant, fantastic place with strength and unity.” Blue, in turn, represents reliability and trustworthiness, as Singapore provides for her needs for a safe home, food, and clean water. Additionally, blue refers to the clear skies she sees every day, which she is immensely grateful for. Her love for nature is further reinforced by the symbolism of green, representing Singapore’s green spaces – the beautiful parks where she can roam freely – as well as growth. As she summarises, “Home is where I feel safe because I am accepted and loved, and can care for others. It is also a place where there is peace and harmony.”

Katy developed her visual impairment as an adult due to the removal of tumor in her optic nerves, losing sight in her right eye and only having tunnel vision on her left. While this was an immense psychological loss, she learnt to overcome this. Today, Katy even treats her condition as a source of amusement, once watching Titanic three times, focusing on different parts of the screen each time, then subsequently piecing them together to fully visualise the movie. 

A volunteer and client of Touch Art, SAVH’s art and handicraft programme, Katy and her team of volunteers help other visually handicapped individuals learn new skills, identify their capability and talents, stay mentally active and connect with the community. A role model for both the visually impaired and the seeing, Katy demonstrates that the visually impaired can actively involve themselves in growing Singapore.